Parting With Parker House

SCRANTON, Pa. -- A piece of Scranton history is being torn down this week. The former Parker House Tavern in north Scranton is being razed because it's in a flood zone.

Patrons are saying goodbye to the place which is almost as old as Scranton.

It will take a few days to tear down a building built more than 140 years ago. The Parker House Tavern closed earlier this year.

It's been slated for demolition for years because of its proximity to the Lackawanna River. Patrons have been visiting the demolition site to witness this inevitable end of an era.

Al DeMartino of Scranton had to snap a picture and pay his last respects to the former bar. It's being torn down from the spot its held on East Parker Street since 1873.

"In fact, the last day that they had here, the bar was open, you couldn`t get through here," DeMartino said.

The bar closed in April ahead of its demolition. No one wanted this to happen, but it had too.

"It was like a funeral when we closed it, but everybody`s moving on, everybody stays in touch, it was a good group of people," added Sean Pryal, also of Scranton.

Parker House is one of the only remaining buildings on the block, it's in the 100-year floodplain.

It was a residence for mine foremen in the 1800's, but people in north Scranton tell a tale of a more sordid history.

"Rumor has it, it was a brothel house, as in the ladies of the evening so there is someone floating up there, there is a ghost that supposedly somebody saw," Pryal added.

That alleged spirit never surfaced as crews from the city of Scranton took an excavator the old bar.

There are plans for the property. The area around the Parker House is slated to become a new trailhead for the Lackawanna Heritage Valley Trail.

"A mile and a half of trail through here with a new trailhead, and then this will become open space, and we`ll probably be able to commemorate the Parker House with a historic marker," said Bernie McGurl of the Lackawanna River Corridor Association.

That project won't start for another year, proper time to mourn Parker House, and look to the future.

"Everything comes to an end, I guess," Pryal added.

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